Saturday, 8 September 2012

Beneficial skin carrier oils

When it comes to looking after our skin using natural ingredients, the first thing that comes to our mind is Oil. Yes! Oils like extra virgin coconut oil, olive oil, sweet almond oils are wonderful to our skin.

You may think that oils are not suitable for oily complexion as it will cause breakouts like pimples and acne. That is actually not the case. What causes our breakouts is really a combination of hormones, poor lifestyle choices, and dirt and bacteria that gets caught in our pores.

It turns out that using the right oils, like EVOO, almond oil, or even jojoba oil will cleanse your skin more effectively than some of those chemical-laden store-bought products.

Ayurveda is a 5000 year-old holistic system of medicine and natural healing originating in India. It is the oldest known form of healthcare in the world. Central within this healing system is the use of therapeutic oils for self massage (abhyanga).In India, self massage with Ayurveda oils (thailams) forms an integral part of everyday life to maintain our natural state of optimum health

The below oils have different skin nourishing and healing properties that helps in cleansing, moisturizing the skin and brings a natural glow to our skin. The essential fatty acids found in some of these oils have anti-ageing properties as well.

We will discuss about some of the commonly used beneficial skin oils which also includes exotic oils like Jojoba (my favourite!) and Argan oil.

Coconut oil

 Coconut oil is highly emollient base oil derived from the fruit of the coconut palm and is solid at room temperatures below 76 degrees F. It is excellent oil for all-over use. It is the ultimate skin softener, hair conditioner, and after-sun treatment. Use only unrefined Coconut oil. Its sweet, exotic fragrance is reminiscent of a tropical paradise. Its shelf life is indefinite.

Sesame seed oil

Sesame oil contains mono-unsaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated, linoleic acid. Sesame seed oil is comparatively stable and does not turn rancid on contact with the air. The oil is also rich in vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. It is a good source of vegetable protein and rich in lecithin. Natural Sesame Oil, as is a well known fact, has very high medicinal value. This oil is used for edible purposes as well as physical purposes. The oil is heavily used in massages throughout the world. The ancient Indian massage therapy as used in Ayurveda has a very prominent role for sesame oil.

Castor oil

This clear to slightly yellow, shiny, viscous base oil is processed from the seeds of an annual shrub. It’s highly emollient and provides staying power and shine to the skin. It is particularly good for softening rough, dry heels, knees, elbows and patches of eczema and psoriasis. When applied to nails, it imparts a protective shield against exposure to drying detergents, hot water and winter-dry air.

Sunflower seed oil

This is a light- to medium- textured base oil high in essential fatty acids; antioxidant vitamin A, D and E; and lecithin derived from pressed seeds. The vitamin- E content of sunflower oil helps to heal blemishes and improve scar tissue. Deeply nourishing and moisturizing for all skin types. It is reasonably priced and easy to find. Avoid processed, supermarket- grade oil and instead choose unrefined oil.

Olive oil

The olive is traditionally regarded as a symbol of peace. The best olive oil comes from the fruit which is nearly fully ripe and handpicked. The oil comes from the pulp and not the kernel. Olive oil is high in minerals, vitamins and essential fatty acids, alpha linolenic acid. It is also used for cooking and dressing in salads. It is good massage oil for babies. Do not expose the oil to extended period of light.

Sweet Almond oil

Pressed from the edible nuts of the sweet almond tree, it is rich in minerals and oleic acid, a skin-nourisher and hydrator. This oil has a slippery feel, so you will need to massage it thoroughly into your skin. Once you have, the surface of your skin will improve dramatically, feeling smooth and silky. Do not use sweet Almond oil if you suffer from a nut allergy.

Grapeseed oil

Grapeseed oil is pressed from the pips of grapes, as a by-product of wine-making. The oil is pale green and extremely high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, making it light textured and easy for the skin to absorb. It is a good massage oil and suitable for people suffering from nut allergy. Massaging with a very light grapeseed oil leaves no residue and creates a lovely smooth finish.

Avocado oil

Avocado oil is extracted from the flesh which contains up to 30% pure oil. The oil is rich in many nutrients including vitamin A and D, lecithin and potassium. The oil is rich in chlorophyll, the reason for its dazzling green colour. Avocado oil can be used to soothe the skin being useful for conditions such as nappy rash and eczema. It is ideal for dry, mature skin and suitable for undernourished or aged skin.

Apricot kernel oil

This oil comes from the kernels of the apricot fruit. It is rich in oleic acid, a nourishing fatty-acid compound also found in olive oil. It is safe for all skin types. Apricot kernel oil rehydrates dry skin, especially when it is inflamed by the sun or wind. This carrier oil replenishes and rejuvenates mature skin.

Rosehip oil

Rosehip oil is produced in Chile and has recently become popular oil, particularly in regenerative skin care. It is beneficial in tissue regeneration for conditions such as burns, facial wrinkles and the treatment of scars. It is a natural anti-oxidant and a slight astringent. It is expensive and goes rancid quickly. Use the oil within 12 months of expiry.

Soyabean oil

Soyabean oil comes from the soya plant. Cold pressed soyabean oil is the second best source of vitamin E. It contains more lecithin than any other vegetable oil. It is high in unsaturated fatty acids and suitable for all skin types. It is regenerative, anti-oxidizing and anti-inflammatory. Its shelf life is 6 to 9 months.

Other exotic oils (liquid gold)

Jojoba oil

This is my favorite all- purpose oil. I use it as a skin moisturiser, to heal my dry lips and calm my child’s skin affected by rough weather. It is pronounced as ho-ho-ba. This is a unique oil because the oil is not composed of fat but of liquid wax. This carrier oil has been used by Native Americans for centuries to protect their skin from dehydration. Jojoba is similar in composition to sebum, the skin’s natural oil, so our skin is able to absorb it easily. It is safe for all skin types. Jojoba strengthens sensitive skin, balances oily skin and clears acne and even long-term scars (with regular use). It helps to soothe and heal skin damaged by eczema or psoriasis. It is a great cleanser. Its waxiness dissolves away dirt and excess oils.

Argan oil

If you’re a fan of Dr Oz , then it’s quite possible you may have heard him recently mention an oil extract from a special little tree found only in Morocco. It’s called argan oil and it has a whole host of benefits including its ability to nourish hair, treat acne and even helps to prevent obesity. It is the future of anti-aging!

Argan oil has been used for centuries by the inhabitants of Morroco and is still being used today, mainly as a natural form of moisturizer to replenish dry, cracked skin – a common result seen after excess exposure to the dry desert heat and sun.

Like almond oil, it’s derived directly from the nuts of the argan tree. The Moroccans call it Moroccan Gold, mainly due to the fact that it’s just so hard to get given that it only grows in a tiny 8000 km² reserve in a small North African country.

The oil itself is made up of 80% unsaturated essential fatty acids, which are used to form the makeup of the membrane (protective layer of the cell, kinda like a force field) of a skin cell. A thicker membrane, reduces the chances of the moisture inside the cell from leaking outwards, plus is better able to remove unwanted waste formed from within the cell.

Argan oil contains around 80% of the good fatty acids, most people who apply it actually see a decrease in oily skin and this is because it has an uncanny ability to help regulate and maintain normal levels of oil production.

Hope you enjoyed reading on some of the common beneficial oils used for our skin. Until then, bye from PetalDew - with love from Nature.

1 comment:

  1. Great post. I never knew that oils were so beneficial. Thanks for busting the myths and highlighting the benefits. Beautiful images that complement the text well. Yours sincerely, Beanoil